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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Is MNSure worth it?

I called MNSure, not for myself, but to compare it to TransChoice, a barebones plan offered through our union for part-time employees. The woman at MNSure was not able to help much. Her answers sounded curt, perhaps because of the volume of calls they must be getting. She said I would have to call TransChoice to find out what is and isn't covered. So far I've been out to their web site. It sounds like, at best, you would get just $100 for a physical exam, $150 for an x-ray, $100 for an ambulance trip, and $50 for an emergency room visit. My coworker would not even get that. So Obamacare might be a good alternative, but a lot more information would be needed. I think my coworker is paying about $92/month. On the MNSure web site I found a PreferredOne plan for $176/month but it has a $6,300 deductible. Recently I found more details but I'm not sure if they're complete.

TransChoice: http://www.rc-benefits.com/pages/01plandesign.html

PreferredOne: https://plans.mnsure.org/mnsa/planadvisor/plan_advisor.htm?flow=anonymous#/viewDetails

Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Review: Zealot

"Zealot" by Reza Aslan contends that the real Jesus was more about insurrection than resurrection. He explores the non-biblical historical records of the time to take his best guess at what really happened.

When the Romans took over Jerusalem, Jews were furious. Several leaders organized rebellions. One social justice movement was led by John the Baptist, then Jesus of Nazareth, then James the Just. It was Paul the Apostle (originally named Saul of Tarsus), preaching in outlying areas, who portrayed Jesus as God. James disagreed with Paul and tried to restrict him, but after the Romans flattened the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Paul's ideas gained popularity. The Gospels painted the Romans in a softer light, and the message became more obedient. By the time Roman Emperor Constantine convened two thousand bishops to codify Christianity, Paul's ideas prevailed, and it was mostly Paul's views that made it into the New Testament.

As I was reading the book, I conferred with my cousin John Munter, author of "The Samaritan Jesus." The two books share some common ground, but Aslan says that Jesus was a Zealot, while Munter says that Jesus was a Samaritan.

Monday, October 07, 2013

14th Amendment

If necessary, the President must invoke the 14th Amendment: "…The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned…"